America does not have a police state. Yet. East Germany had a police state. Syria has a police state. In police states, the government is afraid of the people. Our government is not all that afraid of us. Despite the liberal paranoia about militias and assault rifles, the training drills and TV shows where survivalists overrun the country, the people in charge don’t wake up every morning worrying about a revolution. If they did, then two people in your neighborhood would be informing on you weekly.
We don’t have militarized police forces, TSA agents and NSA eavesdropping because the government is afraid of us, but because the government’s policies have made life unlivable without them. The KGB wasn’t there to protect Russians from each other. Our police state is. And those parts of it that aren’t fly under the radar every time the Chicago death toll for the year appears on the evening news.
The police escalation that shows up on countless videos exists because the people demanded it. And the people demanded it because liberal social policies made entire cities unlivable. The militarized police forces out of cities like Los Angeles filtered down to the suburbs and the rural areas as the same policies and populations that made cities unlivable began spreading outward.
The police state, associated with the right, worked in tandem with the social policies of the left, to dull the pain of those policies. That “dulling” has become the new role of conservative politicians in America who manage the disaster instead of rolling it back. The left realized that without the police state, its policies faced a much broader level of rejection so it learned to tolerate the pigs and the man.
Urban areas were still a disaster, but relentless computerized policing reduced crime enough to make it appear that things had improved. The visible crime statistics however were only the symptoms of the problem. The left had been right about that. It was just wrong about the cause. It was the cause all along. Its social policies had created social problems that the police state managed.
Having armed goons patrol the streets made cities viable again. And that brought in the tax base which allowed the left to experiment with more of the same social policies. The Giulianis made it safe for the Bloombergs and then the De Blasios to come back. In the same way Bush’s war policies paved the way for the Obama years by dulling the pain of international terrorism.
The international manifestations of the police state dulled the impact of Islamic terrorism without addressing the cause. The cause was not, as the left and some libertarians believed, foreign policy, but immigration. The collision of populations and ideologies led to September 11 using the very planes that made international immigration so easy as weapons.
The War on Terror with its spectacle of targeted drone strikes slowed down the terrorists without addressing the real problem, dulling the pain so that no one would pay too much attention to the next planeload of Pakistanis, Syrians or Somalis showing up in America.